Healthy Mind

The 2021 Color of the Year Wants To Help You Feel Grounded and Comforted—Here Are 5 Ways To Bring It To Your Space

Mary Grace Garis

Photo: BEHR
At the end of last year, we predicted that our indoor spaces would begin taking a cue from nature. The interior-design flex would be self-soothing for anyone yearning for the outside world in the midst of being cooped up during the pandemic. And sure enough, paint company Behr just named canyon dusk as its color of the year for 2021, the softer sibling to terra cotta and grounded successor to millennial pink. Evoking gentle sunset vibes, it’s here to make us feel rock solid in our homes, while still drawing a connection to a sense of whimsy.

And psychologically, it makes sense why. “In color psychology, earthy, neutral tones, such as canyon dusk evoke feelings of comfort, safety, and security,” says Carla Marie Manly, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of Joy From Fear. “A warm-toned hue, coupled with a hint of uplifting orange can add a hint of creativity, inspiration, and balance. After a disorienting period, shades that are neutral—yet heartening and balancing—are just what the psyche needs.”

“After a disorienting period, shades that are neutral—yet heartening and balancing—are just what the psyche needs.” —Carla Marie Manly, PhD

If you want to bring this landscape-inspired shade into your home, we have a few ways to do it, straight from interior designers.

5 ways to bring the glow of canyon dusk into your home, according to design pros

1. Pair it with some soft textures

Interior designer Sarah Stacey of Sarah Stacey Interior Design says the color is so easy on the eyes, it can serve as the backdrop of any space. Her top recommendation for incorporating it, though, is to mix in something grainy, like a cream boucle fabric, or to add in some light, natural wood tones.

“A sofa in a mohair fabric would also look gorgeous in a color like canyon dusk,” she says.

2. Touch up the kitchen cabinets

“I love this particular tone of pink, because it reads more as a neutral,” says Tiffany Leigh Piotrowski of Tiffany Leigh Design. “I think this would be an amazing hue for kitchen cabinets if you’re craving some color in the kitchen, as it will feel modern and cool rather than reading like a 1950s pink kitchen.”

3. Use the color to add some calm to your bathroom oasis

Piotrowski also suggests using canyon dusk on your washroom walls. “I picture it paired with warm Calacatta marble and a vintage washstand,” she says. Sara Barney of Bandd Design adds that canyon dusk is a color that’ll root you while you’re getting ready in front of your bathroom mirror. “This shade is perfect for a bathroom vanity to add some color while also keeping the room feeling bright and fresh,” she says.

4. Use it for a furniture set

If you have a hot-pink chair from your dorm-room days that desperately needs some updating, look no further than this color. It manages to be both playful and sophisticated, and it will work in just about any living room. “I love this color for upholstery—especially on a chaise or sofa paired with other warm tones,” says Barney.

5. Make it the backdrop for your home office

Some of us spent a lot of time and energy over the past year trying to make a conference room out of a closet, so to speak. If cultivating the perfect WFH space is still on your agenda, consider canyon dusk a welcome addition to an at-home office. “I think that this would look so chic on office built-ins while also pairing with some dark elements,” Barney says.

And to bring that nature flex full circle, you can maximize the trend by embracing all the shrubbery. Pop some potted succulents, ferns, and pothos plants on your canyon dusk shelves. “Green plants look great with this color since they’re opposing colors on the color wheel,” says Stacey.

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